STRATFORD, Conn. — A Florida man who tried to rob a drug store and robbed a bank in Stratford — all within a span of 15 minutes last winter — pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges, prosecutors said.
Robert Abel, 55, of St. Augustine, pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of bank robbery and also admitted to two armed robberies in Florida and a carjacking in South Carolina, said U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John H. Durham.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the crime spree began on Feb. 11, when Abel robbed a McDonald’s in East Palm Coast, Fla., while brandished a long silver blade. On Feb. 12, he robbed a CVS in St. Augustine, again while brandishing a long knife. He stole a total of $733 during these two robberies.
On Feb. 15, Abel stole a car from a woman in South Carolina, ordering the victim not to move or he would shoot her.
On February 17, Abel stole $1,517 during a robbery of a Webster Bank branch in Stratford. He also attempted to rob a Walgreens Pharmacy in Stratford but left without any money.
No weapons were displayed and no one was hurt during the robberies, police said.
Abel has been detained since his arrest by the Milford Police Department on Feb. 17 after crashing his getaway car — the stolen car from South Carolina.
He faces 20 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on Jan. 31.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Stratford Police Department and the Milford Police Department, with the assistance of the Summerville (S.C.) Police Department, St. Augustine Police Department and the Flagler County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.
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